Canning Tomatoes for Stews and Winter Soups

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Canning tomatoes is one of my favorite things to do each fall. Our family loves soups and stews over the autumn and winter months. what better way to make them then with fresh from the garden tomatoes?

Did you know produce contains the most vitamins and nutrients the first two days after picking? Canning tomatoes the same day you pick them packs so much nutrient dense goodness into your winter meals. And truthfully, home grown tomatoes taste sooooo much better than store bought. Absolutely no comparison!

Raw packed canned tomatoes for winter stews and soups. Very easy to can and you'll have a winters worth of tomatoes for all your hearty cold weather dishes. #tomatoes #canned tomatoes

store bought canned tomatoes are pretty cheap, why can your own?

One of the main reasons I love canning my own tomatoes, (besides the fact the flavor is beyond comparison.) is that canned tomatoes from the store aren’t that great for you. And it’s not the tomatoes fault, its the packaging.

Most cans have a BPA lining. This is to prevent the acidity of the item inside from eating through the can. Since tomatoes are highly acidic, it draws out the BPA at a higher rate than most other food products. While I understand that you simply can’t get away from BPA or it’s sister BPS (which is just as bad, but then companies can say BPA free on the lables!) trying to limit the worst offenders is a simple step I can take to keep our exposure low. This is another reason why I use glass in my house over plastic as much as possible.

Canning tomatoes is easy

While canning takes a bit of time, it’s very easy! I love to listen to podcasts, music, or watch YouTube or Netflix on my phone while working. The time passes so fast and you’re rewarded with lots of goodness to stock your pantry with.

What you’ll need:

  • Water bath canner
  • Quart jars, lids, and seals.
  • Canning kit (so helpful)
  • Three bowls: one for ice water, one for tomatoes skins, one for cut tomatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon juice
  • Canning salt

Prepare the tomatoes

First, rinse the tomatoes off in a vinegar bath. I clean out the sink, then fill it half way up with water, and add in 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Gently swish tomatoes around in water and rinse off. I keep these tomatoes in this cleaning solution until right before skinning them.

Raw packed canned tomatoes for winter stews and soups. Very easy to can and you'll have a winters worth of tomatoes for all your hearty cold weather dishes. #tomatoes #canned tomatoes

To remove tomato skins, start a large pot of water on the stovetop on high. While pot is heating, fill up a bowl with cold water and ice. Place two other bowls next to ice bath. One will be for the skins, the other will be where you placed the skinned and quartered tomatoes.

Once water is boiling, remove and rinse tomato from vinegar water, cut a small X in the bottom, and drop into boiling water. Do this to about five at a time.

Watch tomatoes and once they crack or the skin begins to roll around the X, remove and place in ice bath. When all five tomatoes are in the ice bath pick one up at a time, remove skins completely, discard skins into one of the other bowls, and cut into quarters and place skinned tomatoes into the remaining clean bowl.

Continue until all tomatoes are skinned.

Preparing the jars

Make sure your jars are clean. I run my quart jars through the sterilize mode on my dishwasher. I then set them in the water bath canner on the stove filled with water on low.

Fill jars

You can use pint or quart jars for canning tomatoes. If you have a family of more than two though, I suggest using quart jars. I put one whole jar in each soup or stew I make.

To pack jars:

Add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to bottom of quart jar. (1 Tablespoon if using a pint size.) Pack tomatoes into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon canning salt to top of tomatoes, 1/2 if using pint jars. Remove air bubbles by taking a clean long end of a spoon and poking it down through the tomatoes several times. Clean jar lid, making sure no tomatoes or juice are on the seal area. Place lids on jars and screw closed.

Process quart jars for 45 minutes, pints for 40 minutes, in a boiling water canner.

Once time is over, remove lid, let water settle and boiling stop. Remove cans and set on a dishcloth close together, placing another dish cloth over cans. Do not touch for 12 hours.

Once 12 hours are over, remove cloth and check the seals. Press down in middle of lid and if it pops back up, jar did not seal. Place jar in fridge and use within a week. For all jars that sealed, write date on top of lids, and place in storage pantry. Use within 18 months. I’d say only 1 in every 20 or so jars don’t seal. It doesn’t happen often!

Food storage and being prepared

I’ve been taking a lot lately over on Instagram about how I’m trying to boost up the quantity and quality of items in my pantry. If COVID has taught me anything, it’s that I need to be more prepared.

I’m not going to lie, going to the stores in the beginning of the pandemic and seeing shelves cleared out was scary. Knowing that my family might not get the essentials made me realize how frivolous I was being and how important it was to have a full pantry and emergency food for if that ever happens again. I’ll never forget when Evelyn had a fever at the beginning and I couldn’t find fever meds anywhere. I felt helpless and so stupid. How did I not have a second bottle on hand? I will not be caught off guard again.

Knowing how to can, garden, and preserve my own food was always important to me, but after this it’s even more so. I want to be as self sufficient as possible, and things like canning my own tomatoes are just a small part of a much bigger goal.

Thanks for always stopping by friends. It means the world to me as this little blog helps support my little family.

Do more with tomatoes

Want to do more things with your fresh tomatoes? Try this salsa recipe! It’s easy and so, so good! My mom has been making it for over 30 years now!

Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes

Raw packed canned tomatoes for winter stews and soups. Very easy to make and you'll have a winters worth of tomatoes for all your hearty cold weather dishes.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Canning salt
  • Lemon Juice

Instructions

    First, rinse the tomatoes off in a vinegar bath. I clean out the sink, then fill it half way up with water, and add in 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Gently swish tomatoes around in water and rinse off. I keep these tomatoes in this cleaning solution until right before skinning them.

    To remove tomato skins, start a large pot of water on the stovetop on high. While pot is heating, fill up a bowl with cold water and ice. Place two other bowls next to ice bath. One will be for the skins, the other will be where you placed the skinned and quartered tomatoes.

    Once water is boiling, remove and rinse tomato from vinegar water, cut a small X in the bottom, and drop into boiling water. Do this to about five at a time.

    Watch tomatoes and once they crack or the skin begins to roll around the X, remove and place in ice bath. When all five tomatoes are in the ice bath pick one up at a time, remove skins completely, discard skins into one of the other bowls, and cut into quarters and place skinned tomatoes into the remaining clean bowl.

    Continue until all tomatoes are skinned.

    Make sure your jars are clean. I run my quart jars through the sterilize mode on my dishwasher. I then set them in the water bath canner on the stove filled with water on low.

    You can use pint or quart jars for canning tomatoes. If you have a family of more than two though, I suggest using quart jars. I put one whole jar in each soup or stew I make.

    To pack jars:

    Add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to bottom of jar. (1 Tablespoon if using a pint jar.) Pack tomatoes into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon canning salt to top of tomatoes, 1/2 if using pint jars. Remove air bubbles by taking a clean long end of a spoon and poking it down through the tomatoes several times. Clean jar lid, making sure no tomatoes or juice are on the seal area. Place lids on jars and screw closed.

    Process quart jars for 45 minutes, pints for 40 minutes, in a boiling water canner.

    Once time is over, remove lid, let water settle and boiling stop. Remove cans and set on a dishcloth close together, placing another dish cloth over cans. Do not touch for 12 hours.

    Once 12 hours are over, remove cloth and check the seals. Press down in middle of lid and if it pops back up, jar did not seal. Place jar in fridge and use within a week. For all jars that sealed, write date on top of lids, and place in storage pantry. Use within 18 months

Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45

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